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Looking for "Hidden Gem" beach vacation destination

Looking for "Hidden Gem" beach vacation destination

Jul 17th, 2008, 03:55 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 19
Haven't booked the trip YET, but it appears that I have FINALLY talked the hubby into going to........AKUMAL!!!! We will just purchase trip cancellation insurance and be done with it! I can't tell you guys how excited I am. I found a condo for $75 a night with amazing views. Now I just need to do more research on this place. We are planning to book all of it this week though! Thanks again everyone for your thoughts.....and your right, get out of TEXAS!!!
statiasis is offline  
Jul 19th, 2008, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 172
Oh, I am so psyched for you!!! It truly is paradise! If you go to locogringo.com you can check out the webcam at Lo Ha beach bar. I am dying to go back!!
mamamia66 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2008, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 259
You will love Akumal!! It is a lovely place! Great snorkeling too!!!

Enjoy your trip!
ElaineF is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 08:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 957
Check out Stephen Leatherman's site (a/k/a 'Dr. Beach') for his top ten list of best American beaches.


Also, the Travel Channel has top ten lists of beaches, in Mexico and internationally. And they frequently run programs showing best beaches, sexiest beaches, hidden beaches, etc.
JBX is offline  
Jul 21st, 2008, 03:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
i'm so excited that you are headed to akumal.
trip insurance is available w/hurricane coverage.
in akumal 2 fun bar/rests we liked were lol-ha and la buena vida (be sure to have a chat with the oldsters who sit at the bar) they also have a treehouse of sorts that you may drink in (cool view - be wary of decent after too many fruity libations)
you must snorkel at yal-ku lagoon. it's in akumal but you may need to get a ride from the condos on the beach area as a bit far to walk in the heat. go early am (actually this is good advise for anything you go do, as the numerous ai resorts take vans full of people to nearby activities and of course the heat) nice clear water with some very large fish. more good snorkeling on beach in front of lol-ha and akumal beach resort.
xcaret vs xel-ha eco-marine parks: xel-ha is much more low key and more water focused. xcaret has cool stuff like jaguar island & a dinner show that's flashy but history based.
tulum ruins is a quick ride south. you'll pass a couple places on your right heading south with locally made crafts. pesos work best at these 2 markets.
there is also a tiny ruins just across rte 307 (main hwy) from xel-ha. you can still climb in/on these (you can't at tulum) and in the building closest to the hwy (to left from the entry/parking area) you find a wall with the paint still on it - very cool!
after the ruins you can go a mile? further south to the town of tulum. take a left at the light and head towards the beach. you'll come to an arch where you can turn left to main tulum beach. several rest/bars along here - we especially enjoyed mezzanine for lunch and mojitoes. you can drive out onto the beach using a sand road past all the buildings on your right. huge wide beach good for swimming.
if you turn right at the arch you'll see all the cabana style places like famous ana y jose's. this beach is very pretty, but often not as calm. but more spots to grab lunch...
virginia is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 01:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 19
Virginia, thanks so much for all of your insight! We booked a condo at La Sirena which is very close to Yal Ku so we will for sure see that.

We will be renting a car, so we expect to take in some of the spots you suggested. I have been doing research and just can't wait...30 days to go! Again, just want to thank everyone who took the time to post! Will report upon return!
statiasis is offline  
Jul 29th, 2008, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 40
Since you're going to have a car, be sure to snorkle in one of the cenotes - freshwater "sunken" caves. They're a wonderful experience. I suggest Gran Cenote, off the highway west of Tulum; or Dos Ojos, which is off the highway on the way to Tulum.

Also, be sure to get a fish taco and homemade ice cream at Lucy's in Akumal, and eat lunch at Imelda's by the ECO Center. I'm jealous!
lucy55 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 04:48 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 5,765
yeah - you're booked. take a look at www.locogringo.com it's a wonderful, comprehensive site with info on just about everything in the area. they have links to all the caves, cenotes, ruins, and activities and info on restaurants.
as you will have a car i advise you email laura mapchick through http://www.mapchick.com/
she will send you maps, which if you like you then send money for. she has good advice for you to read about the airport, pesos, etc
if you plan to do much cooking you may wish to do your "big" shop at the sorriana grocery in playa del carman on the way to akumal. they have everything including a liquor dept. (and their cash registers convert the peso total to US$) this store is in a mall on the right side of rte 307 on the south end of town. if you taxi or van to akumal your driver will take you. if not after you pass 5th ave exit get onto the side road going south with the highway. you must be on the side road to get into grocery/mall.
there is a smaller grocery just outside the arch into akumal.
if you have any more questions let me know and i'll try to help out.
do not take travelers checques! best plan is to exchange money at an atm and you might contact your bank about this before you leave.
virginia is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 216
Mycatmiko, Roatan interests me. Have you been there before?
altajoe is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3
Oh - Just book it! Grenada. You will love it.
Tipping: You will want to look at your bills/checks. Sometimes a small service charge is already included, sometimes not. Most of the time when it was added, it was not enough - so we would leave more of a tip.
I posted my favorites (but there are more):
1. Into town for a day - explore the fort; shop at the market; go to the mall; walk through the tunnel; have lunch at the Ocean Grill
2. La Sagesse Nature Center/Beach for the day - lunch at their restaurant
3. Grenada Info & Activities tour for a day - you will meet the monkeys at Grand Etang
4. Fish Friday in Gouyave (Grenada Info & Activities also does these trips)
5. River Tubing (Grenada Info & Activities also does these trips)
6. Go on a snorkel trip with Starwind or Shadow fax(Grenada Info & Activities also does these trips)
7. Go to Carriacou on the ferry for the day
1. Beach House (nice)
2. Coconuts (nice)
3. Calabash (good food)
4. Del (yum - breakfast, lunch dinner - good pizzas, pastries, quiche, pasta)
5. Water's Edge (nice)
6. La Sagesse Nature Center (casual at lunch; nicer at dinner)
7. Bananas is a very safe and fun Nightclub

I hope this helps
pubcrawler is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 4
Hi ,
Me and my girl are actually just on our way back to Amsterdam,
we stayed at Flamboyant, which is just past the Siesta. It's a bit bigger. we aslo were interested on Siesta, but ended up getting referred by Grenada Info and Activities .com, to go to Flamboyant. They were helpfull, as we wanted more space. The rooms are nice, at Siesta as we took a peak. But we were happy with the advise and it was a bit closer to the beach and we enjoyed the amenities more. Good luck,..we will probably come again next year, but want to try the La luna,..oh the food was so great there and very romantic. A real gem,....we were told the rolling stones stay their ofton
tweedekamer is offline  
Aug 29th, 2008, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 216
altajoe is offline  
Aug 30th, 2008, 06:34 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,832
There are some locals that feel as though Grenada is being given away to developers. I saw an article saying that the FS will open a hotel there in 2011. So, anyone interested in seeing before then needs to think about going now.
Knowing is offline  
Sep 21st, 2008, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 40
We're going to Roatan in March 09. Snorkled there one day on a cruise stop and loved it. Still looking into places to stay, etc. Are you planning a trip there?
lucy55 is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2008, 07:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 216
Had a change of heart and chose Royal Plantation in Jamaica.

Haven't ruled out Roatan for the next one though.
altajoe is offline  

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